Softball Moves Up To No. 14 Ranking

April 25, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

No. 14 SOFTBALL HEADS TO ARIZONA FOR A PAIR OF GAMES WITH THE No. 1 WILDCATS AND No. 9 ASU, BEAVERS HAVE WON SIX OF LAST SEVEN

Friday April 27, 2001
No. 14 OSU at No. 1 Arizona - 6 p.m. PST, Tucson, AZ
(Double-Header)

Saturday April 28, 2001
No. 14 OSU at No. 9 Arizona State - 7 p.m. PST, Tempe, AZ

Sunday April 29, 2001
No. 14 OSU at No. 9 Arizona State - 1 p.m. PST, Tempe, AZ

A GLANCE AT THE WILDCATS: Arizona enters the week with a 46-4 overall record and 8-2 mark in the Pac-10. The Wildcats moved past UCLA into the No. 1 ranking nationally. Seven UA players are batting over .300 on the season led by Lauren Bauer's .439 average. As a team, the Wildcats have hit 101 home runs on the year and six different players have at least 10 round-trippers. Arizona's .349 team batting average leads the nation. The Wildcats pitching staff has a combined ERA of 0.69 and has struck out 464 batters this season, an average of 10 K's per game. Junior Jennie Finch leads the team with a 0.28 ERA and a perfect 20-0 record. Arizona leads the all-time series with Oregon State 57-7 and the Beavers are 3-23 against the Wildcats with Kirk Walker at the helm.

ARIZONA THE FIRST TIME AROUND: Oregon State played just one game against Arizona in Salem as rain washed away the scheduled two-game series. Wildcats pitcher Jenni Finch recorded a no-hitter to top the Beavers, 5-0 on April 1. OSU pitcher Monica Hoffman allowed just six hits and struck out eight in the contest but was plagued by a 3-run first inning homer and 2-run shot in the seventh. OSU was unable to get anything going offensively as Finch struck out 10 batters. The no-hitter was the first pitched against the Beavers in 193 consecutive games.

SERIES NOTES: Arizona has won six-straight against Oregon State. The last Beaver victory against the Wildcats was a 4-0 win on Mar. 27, 1999 in Tucson. So far in 2001, the Wildcats are a perfect 27-0 at home.

A GLANCE AT THE SUN DEVILS: Arizona enters the week with a 30-14 overall record and 5-6 mark in the Pac-10. Six different Sun Devils are hitting over .300 with Phelan Wright's .392 average leading the team. ASU's balanced attack boasts nine different players that have at least 10 RBI. Pitcher Erica Beach boasts a 1.15 ERA in 164 innings pitched. So far this season, in 13 different chances, ASU opponents have not scored with the bases loaded. Arizona State leads the all-time series with OSU, 50-15 but the Beavers are 10-16 against the Sun Devils under head coach Kirk Walker.

ASU THE FIRST TIME AROUND: Oregon State dropped its Pac-10 Conference opener against Arizona State, 4-2, on March 30. Despite solo home runs from senior Shawna Feldt and sophomore Cara Maxey, the Sun Devils out-hit the Beavers and took advantage of a three-run fifth inning to break the game open. Clare Burnum and Steph Adams each added doubles for OSU.

SERIES NOTE: Arizona State has won two-straight against Oregon State but the series is knotted 3-3 over the last six meetings. The Beavers most recent victory in Tempe, AZ, was a 3-2 win on March 27, 1999.

LOOKING BACK AT UCLA: The opening of the OSU Softball Complex couldn't have been better for the Beavers as OSU knocked off top-ranked UCLA, 2-1 last Friday. The win was just the fifth-ever for Oregon State against the Bruins. Senior Brooke Rutschman recorded the first hit in the stadium to lead off the game and Rutschman eventually scored the game-winning run as she and Michelle Chariton were knocked in on Clare Burnum's fifth inning 2-out single to right field. Pitcher Crystal Draper struck out six on her way to earning her 20th win of the year.

LOOKING BACK AT WASHINGTON: Oregon State and Washington split a pair of games over the weekend. UW took last Saturday's contest by a score of 2-0. The Huskies overcame a career-high 13 strikeouts by OSU pitcher Monica Hoffman to score both of their runs in the fourth inning for the victory. The Beavers were held to just three hits on the afternoon. Oregon State recovered on Sunday to knock off Washington, 8-3. OSU pitcher Crystal Draper allowed just two hits in the contest on her way towards victory No. 21 of the season. Trailing 3-1, Oregon State rallied for five runs in the fourth inning capped off by a two-out 2-RBI double by Clare Burnum.

LOOKING BACK AT OREGON: Oregon State took advantage of its four hits to earn the season series sweep of in-state rival Oregon on Tuesday afternoon. Steph Adams' two-out, full count, walk-off home run over the left-centerfield fence gave the Beavers the 4-3 victory. The homer was the second of the game for OSU as senior Shawna Feldt belted a 3-run shot over the rightfield fence in the bottom of the first inning to record the first home run at the OSU Softball Complex. Hurler Crystal Draper (22-8) entered the game in relief in the third inning to earn the victory. The Ducks out-hit the Beavers in the game, 6-4.

PAC-10 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Senior Brooke Rutschman was named Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Week while teammate Crystal Draper earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors for Apr. 16-22. Rutschman led the Beavers in hitting with a .625 (5-for-8) batting average, .750 slugging percentage and three runs scored. Rutschman scored what proved to be the game-winning run against top-ranked UCLA and went 2-for-3 with a double, stolen base and two runs scored in OSU's 8-3 victory of the season. Draper, a junior, pitched 14 innings, giving up just three earned runs while striking out six in wins against UCLA and UW. Draper leads the Beavers with a 1.23 ERA and a 21-8 record on the season.

SCHEDULE NOTE: Oregon State has re-scheduled its rained out contest with Portland State for Thursday, May 3 at 4 p.m. at Erv Lind Stadium. The game was originally scheduled for April 12.

FAST FACT: Three of Oregon State's four games in Arizona will be played after 6 p.m. The Beavers are 3-1 (.750) in night games this season.

NATIONALLY RANKED: Oregon State moved up two spots to No. 14 in the USA Today/NFCA poll released on April 25. Four Pac-10 Conference teams remain ranked in the top-5. Friday's opponent, Arizona, takes over No. 1 for the first time this season while UCLA moves to No. 2. Stanford and California remain at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. Saturday and Sunday's opponent, Arizona State sits in a tie for No. 9 while Washington ranks No. 13. The Beavers garnered a No. 12 final ranking after last season's 40-21-1 record.

FACING THE BEST: Oregon State finished the 2000 campaign with a 12-17 record against nationally ranked opponents. The No. 14 ranked Beavers are 7-10-1 against Top-25 teams so far this season.

GETTING THE 'K': Oregon State's pitchers have combined for 313 strikeouts over the first 53 games of the season, an average of nearly six K's per game. The even more impressive number is that OSU's hurlers have walked just 84 batters all season for a 3.7 strikeout-walk ratio.

GOING LONG: Sophomore Steph Adams inches closer to second place in the Oregon State record books with 13 home runs in her career. Adams needs just one more long ball to tie Jenni Jodoin (1998-00) for second place. Teammate Shawna Feldt's round-tripper against Oregon on Tuesday moved the senior into a tie for fifth place in the OSU record books with seven homers. Feldt needs four more home runs to move past Kim Herman (1996-99) into sole possession of fourth place.

FAST START, GOOD END: On the season, Oregon State has out-scored its opponents 211-100. The Beavers have scored 39 runs in the first inning compared to their opponents 26 and have a 31-16 advantage in the seventh inning.

STREAKS TO WATCH: Senior Brooke Rutschman has a four-game hitting streak heading to Arizona, matching her longest streak of the year. Rutschman had a career-high and team-best 13-game hitting streak to open the 2000 season.

TOUGH TO STOP: Sophomore Clare Burnum is the lone Oregon State player currently batting over .300. Burnum is hitting .301 and leads the squad with 11 doubles. Burnum's .372 (16-for-43) batting average with two outs, leads the team as do her 12 two-out RBI.

TAKING THE LEAD: Senior shortstop Shawna Feldt has reached base leading off the inning 26 times this season in 61 chances for a team-leading .426 leadoff percentage.

DRAPER DATA: Pitcher Crystal Draper (22-8) needs just three more victories to move past Joan Harvey (1982-85) into sole possession of second place in the OSU record books with a total of 53 wins. The junior hurler has struck out 158 batters on the season while allowing only 32 walks for a 4.9 strikeout-walk ratio. The opposition is hitting just .175 against the right-hander in 699 at bats. The Hood River Valley High grad also leads the squad with a 1.20 ERA and her 22 victories rank 17th nationally.

LEADING THE PAC: Pitcher Crystal Draper leads the Pac-10 Conference in games started this season with 28. Draper's name dots five other conference pitching categories, ranking second in appearances (34), third in innings pitched (193.0), fourth in wins (21), fourth in batters struck out looking (37) and sixth in total strikeouts (153).

HOFFMAN HIGHLIGHT: Freshman pitcher Monica Hoffman struck out a career-high 13 batters against Washington last Saturday. On the season, Hoffman is averaging 6.26 K's per game while fanning 130 batters.

ON THE BASEPATHS: Senior Brooke Rutschman continues to add to her total of stolen bases in the OSU career record books. Rutschman's swipe against Washington on Sunday brings her career total to 28 which ranks third on the Beavers' all-time list. The centerfielder has nine swipes in 11 attempts this season, which is the most attempts of any OSU player this season. Rutschman needs just three more steals to move past Denise Smail (1976-79) and into sole possession of second place the record books.

MORE BASEPATHS: Junior Michelle Chariton leads the Beavers with a perfect 10-for-10 on stolen bases this season. With a pair of swipes against Washington last weekend, Chariton has jumped into sole possession of fourth place in the OSU record books with 22 career steals. Teammate Shawna Feldt slides down a notch into a tie for fifth place with 21 career stolen bases.

TOUGH D: The 2000 Beavers set a school record with a .973 fielding percentage, committing just 47 errors in 1,270 attempts. Oregon State has committed 49 errors in 53 games this season and currently has a .969 fielding percentage, while its opponents have committed 80 errors for a .952 fielding percentage.

IN THE DUGOUT: Third-year assistant coach Jenny Condon returns to Oregon State after a one-year stint at UNLV last season. Condon helped lead the Beavers to their first NCAA Regional Tournament appearance in 1999. Heather Smith is back for her second season on the sidelines as an assistant after finishing her playing career with Oregon State in 1999.

THE WORD ON WALKER: Head coach Kirk Walker is in his seventh season at the helm for the Beavers. Walker, a graduate of UCLA, has turned around Oregon State's softball program to make it a contender on a national scale. Walker has an overall coaching record of 207-204-3 and a 47-119 mark in the Pacific-10 Conference. Walker has been selected as one of just 12 coaches named to the USA Softball National Team Coaches Pool with a chance to coach in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Prior to his arrival at Oregon State, Walker spent 11 seasons at national powerhouse UCLA as a manager and assistant coach. During his time in Westwood, the Bruins won six NCAA titles and made 10 appearances in the College World Series.

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